The community is there to support sales
But I don't think that is a bad thing. It means there there is a thriving eco systems of partner products to the VMware suite - something the Hyper-V / SCVMM platform from Microsoft needs IMHO. I'm a VMUG member in the UK and have to agree that there really is nothing like it from a Microsoft perspective I don't think. I'll probably mark myself out as light weight techie by saying that I'm actually a big fan of both companys and their data centre technology stacks specifically - Windows Server 2012 with system center is great and I really like the whole VMware SDDC vision.
I have to say that whilst there is overlap I think there is definite distinction between the two companys directions. VMware almost seem to be saying 'we want to abstract and manage your data centre infrastructure' whilst Microsoft are saying ' we want to abstract and manage your workloads and if they happen to move to Azure then great, btw heres our new SCE server licence model to help you there'.
For me Microsoft have a problem though. The old ECI licence model was great to stand up Server 2012 with system centre and create a private cloud. It suited virtualisation hosts. The SCE model replaces this and FORCES you to licence every other Server licence in your estate under the same SCE, whether they are virtualised or not, whether it is cost effective or not, It applies a blanket coverage.
For me this is Microsofts 'VM Memory Tax' moment and it could well bite them in the proverbial. Where as ECI was really cost effective and allowed Microsof to make the argument to CIOs that they 'already had software for a cloud licenced - why pay for VMWare' completly null. In our scenario the cost difference to take VMware vCloud suite plus plain old Server 2012 data centre licencing rather licence EVERY server instance under SCE is pretty much gone.